EXIT: The Sacred Temple – Puzzles with Puzzles
You’re rushing back to the Department office after your lecture when you’re met with a terrible sight! Someone has ransacked the place and stolen your rare book about hidden temples. You find some tools and a few coordinates written in your professor’s handwriting. You immediately rush off, charter a flight to a small volcanic island, and start your search…
Okay, so this plot is about as contrived as you can get. But like many of the other EXIT boxes we’ve played before, we all know we’re here for the puzzles, not the story. And now, we’ve got puzzles on puzzles.
EXIT: The Sacred Temple is one of two new EXIT Boxes from KOSMOS. (The other is The Deserted Lighthouse). These new boxes eschew the traditional book of clues for actual jigsaw puzzles. There are four honest-to-goodness jigsaw puzzles in the box which you must construct, leading you to find more puzzles…. on your puzzles.
The EXIT Escape Room series is created by Inka and Markus Brand and published by KOSMOS. EXIT: The Sacred Temple takes between 1-3 hours to complete and can support any number of people, though more than four leads to a crowded table.
Like many other EXIT boxes, come to the table armed with a piece of paper and at least one writing implement. For this box, you’ll also need a pair of scissors.
Before you start, assemble the decoder disk and punch out the remaining pieces (set them aside for now).
As a parting instruction, the book tells you to which jigsaw puzzle to assemble first. Cut open the bag with those puzzle pieces, and you’re ready to begin!
We’ve covered EXIT boxes before, so let’s focus on the differences between “regular” boxes and these new ones. The most obvious is replacing the clue book with the puzzles. KOSMOS also replaced the stacks of cards you’ll normally find in an EXIT box, by moving hints to the rulebook and introducing coded pamphlets instead of riddle and answer cards.
Once you have solved a puzzle, user the decoder disk to align the three-digit code with the color of the lock related to the puzzle you’re working on.
This is also a bit different than in the past: you need to check the back of the disk. If the small window shows the same color lock, you are on the right track!
Look again at the front of the disk. The aligned numbers reveal three symbols which hopefully match one of the unused pamphlets. If it does, you’ve solved that puzzle! Take that pamphlet and proceed to the next challenge.
Can you solve all of the puzzles, save the professor, and find the hidden temple? Will you need help from the hints in the rulebook to do it? Complete all of the puzzles as fast as possible with as few hints as possible to get the coveted 10 star rating!
The jigsaw puzzles in these new EXIT boxes provide the designers a series of new ways to present clues to players. We often got tripped up by not thinking of the nature of jigsaw puzzles themselves as necessary components to manipulate.
We also loved the fact that anyone can put a jigsaw puzzle together. This helped our youngest really engage in solving the puzzles of The Sacred Temple. In previous boxes, the puzzles were too abstract and complex for a seven-year-old to contribute meaningfully. The jigsaw puzzles completely changed this! Our family of five was able to swarm every puzzle with all of us contributing in some way.
These smaller wins extended the length of the experience. Of course, depending on what you’re trying to get out of the box, this could be either good or bad.
The beginning of the experience was a little jarring. The only instruction we had was to assemble the first puzzle. It was confusing to even figure out what to do next.
Fortunately, since each progressive jigsaw puzzle contained more complexity, the first was the easiest to comprehend. We just wished there was a little more to get us moving in the right direction.
The Sacred Temple included many of the types of puzzles we’ve come to know and love from KOSMOS, including breaking the fourth wall a few times for an outside-the-box experience.
EXIT boxes continue to be excellent cost-effective family entertainment, and The Sacred Temple does not disappoint. The jigsaw puzzles make this more expensive than a standard EXIT box, but we think it’s worth it.
We’re constantly impressed at the ability of the team at KOSMOS to come up with new and interesting ways to present puzzles to us. The jigsaw puzzle approach here is an absolute home run – just don’t let yourself get frustrated by the lack of direction.
The Family Gamers received a copy of EXIT: The Sacred Temple from KOSMOS for this review.
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Exit: The Sacred Temple
Ages: 10+ (can skew a little younger)
Number of Players: 1-4 (we played with 5, but it was crowded)
Playtime: 1.5-3 hours